10th Jul2017

Heal the Living (DVD)

by timbaros

heal-the-livingHeal the Living (Réparer les vivants) deals with a tragedy that changes the lives of two families – it’s very sad and very dramatic like most French films are, but it’s also well acted and well told.

It deals with the delicacy of life, family, relationships and decisions that need to be made in a tragic time. Teenager Simon (Gabin Verdet) is experiencing his first true love, but when he and his friends get into a tragic car accident it’s up to his parents (Tahar Ramin and Emmanuelle Singer – both very good) to make a heartbreaking decision.

Meanwhile, Claire Méjean (Ann Dorval) needs a new heart, and while she is waiting she can feel her life ticking away. She’s got two grown boys, and she loves them very much. But without a new heart, she doesn’t have much time to live. So Simon’s tragic accident has very sad consequences for one family but the opposite effect for another family – in a film that is both beautifully and delicately told. Heal the Living, directed by Katell Quillévéré, will leave you in tears. It’s hard hitting yet it comes with an excellent original story (Maylis De Kerangal and Katell Quillévéré) and superb performances all around.



Heal The Living [DVD] (DVD)

Director: Katell Quillévéré
Starring: Tahar Rahim, Emmanuelle Seigner
Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over

New From: £7.76 GBP In Stock
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Release date July 3, 2017.
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26th Jun2017

Moonlight (DVD)

by timbaros

ml_webA tender, heartwarming story of a young black gay man growing up in 1980’s Miami is the story of the critically acclaimed film ‘Moonlight.’

 I had to see this film a second time to fully re-live and understand and absorb the nuances and emotional impact it delivers. ‘Moonlight’ is about Chiron, and the three chapters of his life. Played as a wide-eyed young boy by Alex Hibbert, as a teenager by Ashton Sanders, and then as an adult by Trevante Rhodes – we get to see him grow up while having to endure lots pain and heartbreak is his life.

Chiron is not like the rest of the other boys in school. He is constantly picked on (he’s smaller then the rest), his father is not in the picture, and his mother Paula (an excellent Naomie Harris) is a drug addict who is slowly spiralling into desperate drug addiction.

The Miami housing project where Paula and Chiron live is controlled by drug dealer Juan (Oscar nominated Mahershala Ali), who lives there with his girlfriend Teresa (a very good Janelle Monåe). Juan just happens to be Paula’s drug dealer. But Juan also becomes a father figure to Chiron, and Chiron starts spending lots of time at his apartment. He’s looked after there, is fed and cared for by Tereaa, he gets meals there that he never would get at home. But as Chiron grows up, he becomes more aware of his sexuality, and as a teenager has a thing with fellow friend Kevin (Jharrel Jerome), whom he’s known since they were young boys, and it’s this act that changes Chiron’s life forever.

We then see Chiron as a 24-year old ex-convict, muscled up, dealing drugs and still coming to grips with his sexuality. All of a sudden he gets a call from Kevin (now played by a very charismatic André  Holland). Chiron still has feelings for Kevin, so he gets up the courage to meet up with him. It’s in these moments where we hold our breathe, not really knowing what’s going to happen. All we want is for Chiron to be happy, to be in a relationship, to lead a happy life with someone he cares about and loves – and that’s all he really wants too.

‘Moonlight’ is an exquisite depiction of self-discovery, of a disenfranchised young black man meandering through life who is on a personal journey of self-discovery. ‘Moonlight’ is based on the play ‘Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue’ by Tarell Alvin McCraney. It’s a beautifully shot movie (by James Laxton) and it’s colors are as beautiful as a Miami sunset. The acting is amazing – all three who play Chiron are fantastic, but it’s Sanders whose Chiron has to go through lots of pain and agony, and being beaten up by homophobic school bullies. The music, by Nicholas Britell, is very subtle and sets the right mood. ‘Moonlight’ has won lots of film awards and is on track to give ‘La La Land’ a run for it’s money at the upcoming Academy Awards. Kudos to director and writer Barry Jenkins for bringing a rich, moving story of a young black gay man to the big screen – it’s a story that’s not been told before – and it works so fine.

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08th Jun2017

Gold (DVD)

by timbaros
GOLD_08479.dng

GOLD_08479.dng

Matthew McConaughey deservedly won an Oscar a couple years back for his portrayal of an AIDS victim in the film ‘Dallas Buyers Club.’ He definitely won’t win one for his new film ‘Gold.’

‘Gold’ is the true story of American Kenny Wells – a man so intent in following in his father’s footsteps that he’ll do anything to succeed. His father, played by Craig T. Nelson, founded a mining company, and Kenny wants to keep the company going strong. So he goes in search of gold, a commodity that he hopes is easy to find and which he hopes will make him extremely rich. He teams up with geologist Mike Acosta (Edgar Ramirez), and with Mike’s expertise in knowing where exactly to mine for gold (it is in the unchartered jungles of Indonesia), they easily, perhaps too easily, find gold, and become very very rich. Their company goes public and the stock goes up and up and up. Other larger companies start circling around them like vultures trying to buy them out, with investments bankers ready to seal the deal to become rich themselves. It’s all about money and who can trump who, but it comes at a cost. Wells gets malaria in the Indonesian jungle and almost doesn’t survive, his long-term girlfriend Kay (Bryce Dallas Howard) doesn’t like the man he’s become, and to top it off, is Acosta the man he appears to be? It’s basically ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ all over again. And if you remember McConnaughey’s excellent cameo in that movie (as a rich and successful banker mentor), well in ‘Gold’ he is playing a similar character. It’s fine for a few minutes of showmanship but for more than two hours it gets to be a bit too much.

McConaughey, who put on the pounds for this role (he lost the pounds for ‘Dallas Buyers Club’), overacts and overacts. ‘Gold,’ which is set in the eighties, shows Wells as a man who gets everything he wants, and method actor McConaughey plays it over the top. Howard is much much better as his girlfriend – all she wants is the simple life and does not care for nights at the Waldorf Hotel or expensive meals. The standout in this film is Ramirez. He’s charistmastic and extremely believable as Well’s business partner, a man who knows his business and can charm both the men and the women. Ramirez was also the lone standout in the awful ‘The Girl on a Train’ as Doctor Kamal Abdic. Make him a leading man already! Directed by Stephen Gaghan (Traffic and Syriana), in ‘Gold’ there’s no excitement, no feeling of happiness or sadness when the characters go through through their ups and downs. And the soundtrack is just god awful – the music just doesn’t go with the scenes in the film – it’s tepid at best but belongs in an old cowboy western movie. Originally scheduled to open wide on December 25, 2016, it was pushed back to open on January 27, with the December 25 release staying a limited release in order to qualify for awards. The film’s limited release was then pushed back to December 30, 2016, four days after its presumed date. ‘Gold’ has not been nominated for any awards, it doesn’t deserve any.



Gold [DVD] [2017] (DVD)

Director: Stephen Gaghan
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Édgar Ramírez, Bryce Dallas Howard, Joshua Harto, Timothy Simons
Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over

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New From: £6.99 GBP In Stock
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Release date June 5, 2017.
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17th May2017

Manchester by the Sea (DVD)

by timbaros

manCasey Affleck gives a devastating performance in Manchester by the Sea.

In a role that won him the Academy Award for Best Actor, Affleck is Lee Chandler, a man stricken with grief, so much grief that gets worse when he gets word that his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler in flashbacks) suddenly passes away in their hometown of Manchester, New Hampshire. Joe leaves behind teenage son Patrick (newcomer Lucas Hedges) and so it’s left to Lee to be Patrick’s guardian.

But Lee just doesn’t have the energy, or the passion, to take in his nephew. Now a handyman, he moved to Boston after a tragic event that took the lives of his three children, a tragic event that could’ve been prevented, and a tragedy that caused the breakdown of his marriage to Randi (Michelle Williams). So he’s really quite unsure and struggles with what to do with Patrick. Lee can’t send Patrick to his mother, who he is not close to, as she is pretty much out of the picture. And Patrick doesn’t want to move to Boston to live with Lee. But everyday Lee struggles, struggling with guilt over the death of his children, and guilt that is very evident in his face and posture, and grief that will more than likely will never go away. But it is up to Lee to make sure his nephew is taken care of.

There is so much darkness in Manchester by the Sea that it’s hard to leave the film without feeling depressed and sodden. Yet it’s Affleck’s acting that propels this film to must see and award-worthy status. Affleck, who is Ben Affleck’s younger brother, gives the best performance of his career. His Lee is quite unlike any character you’ve seen all year – and Affleck plays him amazingly. Williams is also very good as Lee’s wife who eventually moves on and starts a new life, and BAFTA Rising Star nominee Hedges is a real find and perfect as the rebellious teenager. In a film produced by Matt Damon, who was originally going to star as Lee, and with excellent writing and directing by Kenneth Lonergan (2000’s You Can Count on me), who cements himself to A-list status of Hollywood filmmakers with this film, Manchester by the Sea is one of this year’s few must-see films. Now out on DVD.



Manchester By The Sea [DVD] (DVD)

Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges, Tate Donovan
Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over

Manchester By The Sea [DVD]
New From: £6.99 GBP In Stock
Used from: £4.61 GBP In Stock
Release date May 15, 2017.
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18th Apr2017

Theo & Hugo (DVD)

by timbaros

theoandhugohero-1024x409Two men meet at one of Paris’ most popular, and notorious, gay sex clubs, and then embark on an evening with lots of twist and turns, in the new film ‘Theo & Hugo.’

You might think you’re watching a gay porn film as the first 20 minutes of ‘Theo & Hugo’ is full on man-to-man action – erections and anal sex are all on full display, filmed at L’Impact – a naked gay sex club in the Marais district in Paris. ‘Theo & Hugo,’ In French, with English subtitles, is shot in real time, and it’s in that club where Theo and Hugo meet, at exactly 4:27 a.m., amongst the writhing and moaning group of men who are all enjoying each others’ company.

While there, Theo & Hugo connect sexually, intimately, and emotionally. They then decide to leave the club together to carry on their night with each other. But what wasn’t discussed while they were having unsafe sex at the club was the use of a condom to prevent HIV transmission, as Hugo (Francois Nambot) tells Theo (Geoffrey Couët) that he is HIV+. What transpires after is a rollercoaster of a night for both of them, when Theo goes to the hospital to get PREP (Post-exposure prophylaxis), medication that should kill any traces of the virus that might be in his system. Romantically, and responsibly, Hugo joins him there. They then wander the streets of Paris, on a night that could turn out to be either very romantic or very tragic, with the ramifications of HIV staring them right in the face, and the possibility that their encounter could be more than just an encounter.

Is ‘Theo & Hugo’ a porn film or is it a film with an important message? This is something that you will have to decide, but nonetheless, it’s guerrilla and gay filmmaking at it’s finest. And Kudos go to the actors for ‘baring it all’ in scenes that are relevant to the message of the film, and to writers and directors Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau for bravely, and successfully, having the balls to make this controversial, yet romantic and engaging film.

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14th Apr2017

The Pass (DVD)

by timbaros

19 Arinze Kene (Ade) & Russell Tovey (Jason) smallTwo footballer players end up scoring with each other in Ben A. Williams feature film debut ‘The Pass.’

‘The Pass’ take place in a ten year time span which tracks the relationship between two Premiership football players. There’s always been some kind of chemistry and attraction between James (an electric and very good Russell Tovey) and Ade (Arinzé Kene – Hollyoaks – also very good). We meet both of them while they’re sharing a hotel room in 2006 in Bulgaria right before one of their first big matches. They’re both very young, and they’re also both very fit, masculine and extremely sexy, and they spend the first third of the movie in their tight white underwear. James and Ade are talking lads stuff, having a laugh about other players, and watching a video that was taken of another player having sex. The sex talk continues, and the banter goes something like ‘getting as hard as your sister sitting on my face.’ They’re playing around with each other; it’s hot, it’s erotic, it gets brutal, and homophobic, plus, we find out later, it leads to more than just talk.

‘The Pass’ takes us beyond the hotel room to tell us the story of the relationship between these two men, but especially about the relationship James has with himself. He’s all man, a star footballer, with all the trappings of stardom; money, women, celebrity, and eventually a wife with two kids. But he’s also battling with his sexuality, and even though he buys whatever, and whomever, he wants when he wants it, the thing he wants most is out of his reach. And when he’s questioned about his sexuality by a woman who has been paid to videotape having sex with him, he wants to go through with it, just to prove to the world (and obviously to himself) that he’s not gay. He’a a man who is not able to accept who he is and who he really wants to be with.

‘The Pass’ is 88 minutes of purely charged up adrenaline. It’s a movie that’s full of dialogue, dialogue that goes from playful banter to sexually-charged hi-jinks, up to and including the final third scene of the movie, which involves a hotel bellboy that’s a bit over the top. But it’s not to take away from a movie that brings up a real issue – that there is not one out gay football player in the game now. Let’s hope this film opens up the dialogue that it’s fine for a player to come out of the closet. Originally produced for the Royal Court Theatre in 2014, ’The Pass’ makes an excellent transition to the big screen. Kene brings a real toughness kindled with a bit of softness to his role, but it’s Tovey who owns the movie. He’s never been better; his James is battling with his sexuality while at the same time trying to uphold his image. Tovey is electrifying and is at the top of his game (he will soon be seen at The National next month in the play Angels in America). This is one pass that you will want to catch.



The Pass [DVD] [2017] (DVD)

Director: Ben A. Williams
Starring: Russell Tovey, Arinze Kene, Lisa McGrillis, Nico Mirallegro, Rory J. Saper
Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over

New From: £5.99 GBP In Stock
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05th Apr2017

I Am Michael (DVD)

by timbaros

MBF141VOD.05James Franco is very convincing as a man who renounces his homosexuality to lead a religious straight life in the film I Am Michael.

Franco is one of Hollywood’s busiest actors. One look at his IMDB page shows an incredible 21 upcoming projects with a mix of indie and blockbuster films. He also likes to mix up his repertoire (and keep his fans guessing) by playing gay characters. He was a gay porn producer in King Cobra, and he directed and produced the 2013 controversial film Interior. Leather Bar. And now in I Am Michael, Franco has his gayest role yet. It’s based on the true story of Michael Glatze, who claimed he was no longer gay and became a straight pastor. But in 1999, Michael was in a gay relationship with boyfriend Bennett (Zachary Quinto) and was the editor of the successful real-life XY Magazine, while at the same time living in San Francisco – it was the ultimate gay life and gay lifestyle. But Bennett’s father has a job for him in Halifax, Canada, so they relocate there – it’s a city with not much to do, but they end up hooking up with the young goodlooking Tyler (Charlie Carver). But after a few panic attacks, and memories of his late father and mother, Michael starts to question his homosexuality – he starts re-evaluate his life, loves, and takes up to reading the bible for answers, until one day he leaves it all behind for a new life.

iAM_2D_Packshot_Cover

Shot in just 20 days in New York, on a budget of $2.5 million, I Am Michael didn’t get the proper cinema release that it deserved. It’s done the film festival circuit and it’s only now being released, on video on demand. Writer and Director Justin Kelly keeps the movie flowing, and it never once loses faith of it’s subject matter. Franco superbly carries this film (though his hairstyle seems to change in every scene) and the rest of the cast excellently support him. It’s a highly recommended watch not just for it being a gay film – it’s Franco’s performance that is more than worth the watch.

I am Michael is out now on DVD/Amazon/HMV/FOPP/ASDA


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23rd Mar2017

Nocturnal Animals (DVD)

by timbaros

nocturnal_animals_375043-2Nocturnal Animals is a haunting thriller that’s dark and very troubling

Tom Ford’s highly anticipated second film, Nocturnal Animals, is both brilliant and confusing, no thanks to it’s three stories in one arc.

Amy Adams is art dealer Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) who lives high above the Hollywood Hills in a seemingly loveless marriage to her philandering husband Hutton (Armie Hammer). One day she receives a book called Nocturnal Animals written by her ex-husband Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal, in one of his best performances in years). It’s been 19 years since they broke up, well actually Susan broke it off with him, and she hadn’t heard or seen of him since then. So it’s bit unusual for her to receive a book from him, knowing that he’s been a struggling writer all his life. While her husband is away on one of his many business trips, she settles down to read the book. It’s then that Nocturnal Animals the book becomes a whole second movie, a second movie so brilliantly written, acted, and told that it should’ve been the movie that is Nocturnal Animals.

The book is a tale of revenge, rape and murder, brutal and in your face and it’s directed wholly at Susan. While it’s obvious it’s a work of fiction, it’s brutal and horrific. The book as we see play out tells the story of fictional character Tony (Gyllenhaal) with his wife Laura (Isla Fisher) along with what could be (or not) their daughter – this plot point is not very clear, driving in Texas when they’re menaced by a gang of rednecks led by Ray Marcus (Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a performance you will never forget and for which he won a Golden Globe). The menacing turns much much worse, but only towards the women, and it’s too much to give away here to explain what happens to them. Suffice it to say you will be on the edge of your seat while this story is unravelling.

Nocturnal Animals also replays the beginning of the relationship between Susan and Edward – how they met on a New York City sidewalk, then had a loving relationship, only for Susan to drop him (it’s not clear why she leaves him).

All of this is played out in just under two hours. Nocturnal Animals is a haunting romantic thriller with tension throughout, but it’s also a bit of a letdown after the brilliant A Single Man. Adams doesn’t have much to do except read the book in which the most exciting scenes of the film play out. A couple plot points are head scratching – a phone call Susan makes to her daughter – a real daughter or it she a hallucination due to Susan’s lack of sleep – (nocturnal), and Edward’s grudge for 19 long years – really? Nocturnal Animals is a movie that is so cruel and cynical, a story so much about disloyalty and especially about revenge, and it becomes very very violent, and very very dark, and Ford dedicates it to his husband Richard and their son Zach. A bit narcissistic if you ask me.



Nocturnal Animals (DVD + Digital Download) [2016] (DVD)

Director: Tom Ford
Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Armie Hammer, Michael Shannon
Rating: To Be Announced

Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star in this thriller adapted from Austin Wright's novel. Years after leaving her first husband, Susan Morrow (Adams) receives a letter asking her to read the manuscript of his first novel. Although worried that reading the book may unearth unpleasant memories long forgotten, Susan reluctantly begins to read. His story revolves around Tony Hastings (Gyllenhaal) and his family as their summer holiday to a cottage retreat turns violent following a confrontation with a mysterious man. As Susan reads on, she becomes convinced that the book is a veiled threat from her ex-husband and is forced to confront some dark truths about her past. The cast also includes Isla Fisher, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Armie Hammer. The film was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, winning for Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Taylor-Johnson), nine BAFTAs, including Best Director (Ford), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Leading Actor (Gyllenhaal) and Best Supporting Actor (Taylor-Johnson), and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Shannon).

New From: £4.95 GBP In Stock
Used from: £3.23 GBP In Stock

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13th Mar2017

Nocturnal Animals (DVD)

by timbaros

nocturnal_animals_375043Nocturnal Animals is a haunting thriller that’s dark and very troubling.

Tom Ford’s highly anticipated second film, Nocturnal Animals, is both brilliant and confusing, no thanks to it’s three stories in one arc.

Amy Adams is art dealer Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) who lives high above the Hollywood Hills in a seemingly loveless marriage to her philandering husband Hutton (Armie Hammer). One day she receives a book called Nocturnal Animals written by her ex-husband Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal, in one of his best performances in years). It’s been 19 years since they broke up, well actually Susan broke it off with him, and she hadn’t heard or seen of him since then. So it’s bit unusual for her to receive a book from him, knowing that he’s been a struggling writer all his life. While her husband is away on one of his many business trips, she settles down to read the book. It’s then that Nocturnal Animals the book becomes a whole second movie, a second movie so brilliantly written, acted, and told that it should’ve been the movie that is Nocturnal Animals.

The book is a tale of revenge, rape and murder, brutal and in your face and it’s directed wholly at Susan. While it’s obvious it’s a work of fiction, it’s brutal and horrific. The book as we see play out tells the story of fictional character Tony (Gyllenhaal) with his wife Laura (Isla Fisher) along with what could be (or not) their daughter – this plot point is not very clear, driving in Texas when they’re menaced by a gang of rednecks led by Ray Marcus (Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a performance you will never forget and for which he won a Golden Globe Award). The menacing turns much much worse, but only towards the women, and it’s too much to give away here to explain what happens to them. Suffice it to say you will be on the edge of your seat while this story is unravelling. Michael Shannon is very good as cop who is tasked with the investigation of the events (he, instead of Taylor-Johnson, was nominated for an Oscar).

Nocturnal Animals also replays the beginning of the relationship between Susan and Edward – how they met on a New York City sidewalk, then had a loving relationship, only for Susan to drop him (it’s not clear why she leaves him).

All of this is played out in just under two hours. Nocturnal Animals is a haunting romantic thriller with tension throughout, but it’s also a bit of a letdown after the brilliant A Single Man. Adams doesn’t have much to do except read the book in which the most exciting scenes of the film play out. A couple plot points are head scratching – a phone call Susan makes to her daughter – a real daughter or it she a hallucination due to Susan’s lack of sleep – (nocturnal), and Edward’s grudge for 19 long years – really? Nocturnal Animals is a movie that is so cruel and cynical, a story so much about disloyalty and especially about revenge, and it becomes very very violent, and very very dark, and Ford dedicates it to his husband Richard and their son Zach. A bit narcissistic if you ask me.

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04th Mar2017

Life on the Line (DVD)

by timbaros

Travolta_Life-on-the-LineJohn Travolta stars as a lineman whose job it is everyday to risk his life while repairing electrical wires in the new film ‘Life on the Line.’.

‘Life on the Line’ follows a film formula that we’ve seen way too many times. The loss of both her parents shatters the life of a little girl and she is raised by the uncle who happens to do the same job as her father, a job that killed him. Travolta is her uncle Beau Ginner (what a name!). After her father gets electrocuted while repairing wires on a telephone line, and after her mother gets killed in a car crash on the way to the hospital – it is up to Beau to raise Bailey. Now older, Bailey (Kate Bosworth), still has to live with the fact that, like her father, Beau may never make it back home again due to the perils of his job. Throw in a subplot about a dodgy neighbor, a major storm on the horizon that could threaten Bailey’s life, and also how ridiculous Travolta looks with a beard and hair that is dyed black, and it’s a film that’s as unbelievable and anti-dramatic (and anti-climatic) as anything you’ve seen in quite a long time.

Travolta’s work tends to be very good (last year’s award winning ‘The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story’) or very very bad (2013’s ‘Killing Season’ and last year’s ‘I Am Wrath’). ‘Life on the Line’ doesn’t do him much justice. The plot is very predictable and the ending is ridiculous. ‘Life on the Line’ is having a digital and DVD release (and not theatrical) which always implies that the film was not good enough for theatrical distribution. Here is a link to the trailer so that you can decide for yourself if you want to watch it further (the trailer pretty much gives away much of the plot): https://youtu.be/L_5HrzU1S1E.

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05th Feb2017

Deepwater Horizon (DVD

by timbaros

dwh_d42_12682_r_crop-credit-david-leeIn what is the best action dramatic thriller you’ll see so far this year, ‘Deepwater Horizon’ delivers on all levels. It’s also very inspirational and heartbreaking as we all know it’s a true story.
On April 20th, 2010, eleven men were killed when their drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana exploded, creating the worst oil spill in history. ‘Deepwater Horizon’ tells the events leading up to the disaster, then the actual explosion, and it’s aftermath and impact on the lives of the people who survived, and is also a tribute to the men who lost their lives.

Directed with much intensity by Peter Berg, a former actor turned director (2013’s Lone Survivor), and starring Mark Wahlberg as the real life Mike Williams – the Transocean chief electronics technician who worked for the company that owned the rig. Williams was the man who was overseeing the rig’s computers and electrical systems at the time of the explosion. ‘Deepwater Horizon’ shows, in detail, how family man Miller was in a race to save as many of the crew as possible, while putting his own life in danger. He also has a wife Felicia (Kate Hudson) and daughter back home he desperately wants to get back to.

On that fateful day, the Deepwater Horizon, an ultra-deep-water, advanced oil rig owned by the Swiss company Transocean and leased by British Petroleum, was drilling deep in a well named Macondo. What’s ironic is that when the explosion occurred executives from British Petroleum (who chartered the rig) were present because the drilling for oil was 43 days and $50 million behind schedule. John Malkovich plays Donald Vidrine, a BP executive who was there to push the men to complete drilling the well as soon as possible. Against the wishes of Deepwater Horizon’s installation manager Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell, very effective and in one of his best performances ever), Vidrine orders the crew to perform negative pressure tests (an attempt to lower the pressure inside the well to ensure that the well can withstand that pressure without any leaks). These tests were the catalyst to what happens next; mud, oil and water starts seeping out of the drills, intensifying and then stabilising, but then tragedy strikes. And when it does, everyone is caught off guard, including Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez), the 23-year old woman who helped operate the rig’s navigation machinery. The BP executives are shell-shocked, and them and the crew scramble for lifeboats that would lead them to safety, while some men were caught up in the deadly flames. There are harrowing scenes of explosions, fire, and survival that will take your breathe away, and very emotional scenes at the end that will have you reaching for a tissue.

‘Deepwater Horizon’ excels in the way the story is told and shown; we are witness to the emotional and physical impact of the explosion, and we get to experience it with the flames and the crackling of the metal as it comes crashing down. This is thanks to special effects (and the pulsating soundtrack which adds to the intensity) that don’t even look like special effects – the explosion and flames are that intense, so intense that you can practically feel the heat come off the screen. And while some may blame the film for being about one man’s heroic efforts to save everyone (with Wahlberg in action star mode, perhaps maybe a bit too much), Mike Williams did save lots of lives and this is indeed his story, and this film is the chance to tell that story, and it does so extremely well. Berg’s human centred approach to the story brings us closer to the lives of the people who were caught up in the disaster – it’s the human element to the story that is the takeaway – the survivors as well as the dead.



Deepwater Horizon [DVD] [2016] (DVD)

Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Dylan O'Brien, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, Gina Rodriguez
Rating: Suitable for 12 years and over

New From: £5.00 GBP In Stock
Used from: £2.98 GBP In Stock

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07th Jan2017

Retake (DVD)

by timbaros

retake-still-2An unusual love story takes place in the new film ‘Retake.’

But is it really a love story? Handsome businessman Jonathan (Tuc Watkins) has returned to San Francisco to relive a trip from his past – a trip that was with his late lover Brandon. So Jonathan picks up hustlers on the streets and pays them to play the role of Brandon by adding a few squirts of cologne and a black wig. One of the hustlers fails miserably at the task, however, another one, Adam (Devon Graye), who looks a bit like Brandon, easily settles into the role, enough so that Jonathan takes him on a car ride to the Grand Canyon, a trip that Jonathan and Brandon were never able to complete because of Brandon’s death from a drug overdose on the trip.

Jonathan has Adam totally re-enact Brandon’s persona – from having him wear his actual clothes to making sure he drinks Brandon’s favorite drink – and Jonathan also has Adam copy Brandon’s gestures. Lines are blurred when Adam starts acting like himself and Jonathan appears to be falling for Adam and not Adam’s Brandon. But will their relationship survive the road trip after Adam confronts Jonathan about photos he has found in his briefcase that all too weirdly mirrors the exact places and poses Jonathan had Brandon pose for on their ill-fated trip?

‘Retake,’ aptly named because of the re-staged photos with Adam, literally takes us on a journey of a man who tries to relive his past. Watkins is a bit stiff as Jonathan, however, Graye is everything you would want him to be; sexy, charming, flirty, fun, and after he cuts his hair to look like Brandon, handsome.

Writer and Director Nick Corporon brings us an original story that, though at times falls flat and and is a bit unbelievable, ultimately win our hearts and becomes one we can identify with for those of us who have suddenly lost a partner.

VOD/DVD Release Jan. 10th

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07th Jan2017

War Dogs (DVD)

by timbaros

war_dogs_290932How did two twentysomethings get into the business of selling arms to the U.S. government? ‘War Dogs’ tells this story.

Based on the Rolling Stone article ‘Arms and the Dudes’ by Guy Lawson, Miles Teller and Jonas Hill play David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli. Packouz is a massage therapist, constantly being sexually harassed by his very wealthy male clients. He also sells expensive high quality bed sheets to old age homes but he’s told they don’t want to buy them because it would be like wrapping a lizard in very nice bedsheets. But when he runs into long lost friend Diveroli at a funeral, his life takes a dramatic turn. Living with his girlfriend Iz (Ana de Armas) in a cramped flat, Packouz takes up the opportunity to work at Diveroli’s company – AEY Inc. to make more money. It’s a company Diveroli set up to sell weapons to the U.S. government, with silent partner dry cleaner owner Ralph Slutzky (Kevin Pollack). AEY is initially tasked with obtaining beretta guns for a general in the thick of the Iraq war. When the italian-made guns can’t be transported directly into Iraq, it’s up to the Packouz and Diveroli to drive the truck to Iraq via Jordan, and that’s exactly what they do, risking their lives for a $2.8 million payoff. They then discover that the U.S. government has what seems like billions of dollars to give out to companies just like theirs in order to procure weapons, and all bids listed on a government website.

With a lot of cash now in hand, and with fabulous new properties they’ve bought (plus a new baby girl for Packouz and Iz), AEY decides to expand their business. They head to Las Vegas for Vegas X, a comicon-like convention with grenades and not comics. This is where they meet Henry Girard (a very good and subdued Bradley Cooper), who puts them in contact with the Albanian government to help them obtain ammunition to arm the Afghan military (money which the U.S. Government will pay. Their $300 million bid is amazingly accepted by the military generals but they tell them that their bid was $50 million less than the lowest bid. The men carry out the order, not realizing until too late that the ammunition the Albanian authorities are selling them are actually Chinese, which they re-brand and re-package (illegal). Diveroli’s greed and his and Packouz’s crumbling relationship gets the best of them, and it all comes down to not if they will be caught, but when.

While ‘War Dogs’ is a very good film, reminiscent of a Martin Scorcese movie, though not all of what you see in this film actually happened. In the beginning we’re told that ‘War Dogs’ is ‘based on a true story,’ so several events in the film didn’t actually take place (driving the truck from Jordan to Iraq.) Directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover) and produced by Phillips and Cooper, ‘War Dogs’ succeeds, however, in the performances of both of it’s leads (though neither one of them look in their 20’s and Hill is quite chunkier than usual), and the film’s script is clever and witty. ‘War Dogs’ also has an excellent movie soundtrack, with songs by The Who, Pink Floyd and House of Pain, carrying the spirit of a 1990’s Scorcese gangster film. If ‘War Dogs’ were a fictionalized film, then it would’ve been fine the way it is. But there’s no reason why the filmmakers couldn’t have just stuck to the real version of events of these two very young arms dealer – it would’ve made for a more compelling and very realistic tale.



War Dogs [DVD] [2016] [Includes Digital Download] (DVD)

Director: Todd Phillips
Starring: Miles Teller, Jonah Hill, Julian Sergi
Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over

New From: £3.16 GBP In Stock
Used from: £1.55 GBP In Stock

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18th Dec2016

War Dogs (DVD)

by timbaros

war_dogs_290932The true story of two young men who sold weapons to the U.S. government, and got too greedy

How did two twentysomethings get into the business of selling arms to the U.S. government? ‘War Dogs’ tells this story.

Based on the Rolling Stone article ‘Arms and the Dudes’ by Guy Lawson, Miles Teller and Jonas Hill play David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli. Packouz is a massage therapist, constantly being sexually harassed by his very wealthy male clients. He also sells expensive high quality bed sheets to old age homes but he’s told they don’t want to buy them because it would be like wrapping a lizard in very nice bedsheets. But when he runs into long lost friend Diveroli at a funeral, his life takes a dramatic turn. Living with his girlfriend Iz (Ana de Armas) in a cramped flat, Packouz takes up the opportunity to work at Diveroli’s company – AEY Inc. to make more money. It’s a company Diveroli set up to sell weapons to the U.S. government, with silent partner dry cleaner owner Ralph Slutzky (Kevin Pollack). AEY is initially tasked with obtaining beretta guns for a general in the thick of the Iraq war. When the italian-made guns can’t be transported directly into Iraq, it’s up to the Packouz and Diveroli to drive the truck to Iraq via Jordan, and that’s exactly what they do, risking their lives for a $2.8 million payoff. They then discover that the U.S. government has what seems like billions of dollars to give out to companies just like theirs in order to procure weapons, and all bids listed on a government website.
With a lot of cash now in hand, and with fabulous new properties they’ve bought (plus a new baby girl for Packouz and Iz), AEY decides to expand their business. They head to Las Vegas for Vegas X, a comicon-like convention with grenades and not comics. This is where they meet Henry Girard (a very good and subdued Bradley Cooper), who puts them in contact with the Albanian government to help them obtain ammunition to arm the Afghan military (money which the U.S. Government will pay. Their $300 million bid is amazingly accepted by the military generals but they tell them that their bid was $50 million less than the lowest bid. The men carry out the order, not realizing until too late that the ammunition the Albanian authorities are selling them are actually Chinese, which they re-brand and re-package (illegal). Diveroli’s greed and his and Packouz’s crumbling relationship gets the best of them, and it all comes down to not if they will be caught, but when.

While ‘War Dogs’ is a very good film, reminiscent of a Martin Scorcese movie, though not all of what you see in this film actually happened. In the beginning we’re told that ‘War Dogs’ is ‘based on a true story,’ so several events in the film didn’t actually take place (driving the truck from Jordan to Iraq.) Directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover) and produced by Phillips and Cooper, ‘War Dogs’ succeeds, however, in the performances of both of it’s leads (though neither one of them look in their 20’s and Hill is quite chunkier than usual), and the film’s script is clever and witty. ‘War Dogs’ also has an excellent movie soundtrack, with songs by The Who, Pink Floyd and House of Pain, carrying the spirit of a 1990’s Scorcese gangster film. If ‘War Dogs’ were a fictionalized film, then it would’ve been fine the way it is. But there’s no reason why the filmmakers couldn’t have just stuck to the real version of events of these two very young arms dealer – it would’ve made for a more compelling and very realistic tale.

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